With his signature top hat, shock of black curls, and formidable talents, Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name of Slash, is one of rock’s most respected and recognizable hard rock guitarists. Born in England, on July 23, 1965, and raised in Los Angeles, Slash rose to fame as a member of the notorious Guns n’ Roses, which catapulted to global fame on the strength of 1987’s seminal ‘Appetite for Destruction’ album — then stayed there thanks to subsequent smashes like ’88’s ‘GnR Lies’ EP and 1991’s’s twin ‘Use Your Illusion’ double LPs. Throughout these years, both Slash and his bandmates indulged in assorted illegal substances and decadent behavior, as the pressures of stardom and punishing tours took their toll, until the band collapsed into a lengthy hiatus out of which it would not emerge intact. But even before this troublesome turn of events, Slash had proven himself a musical workaholic and serial collaborator, contributing his guitar playing to artists as diverse as Michael Jackson and Lenny Kravitz, before launching his own solo band, Slash’s Snakepit, via 1995’s ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ album. Slash would carry on splitting his time between the Snakepit, other musical projects, and his various chemical dependencies throughout the ‘90s and beyond, but he finally kicked his bad habits after a serious health scare in 2005. Around this time, Slash also joined his former Guns bandmates Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum in a supergroup with Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, which they dubbed Velvet Revolver. The group was warmly embraced by hard rock fans and produced two hit al-bums in 2004’s chart-topping ‘Contraband’ and ’07’s top five ‘Libertad,’ but inevitably ground to a halt in ’08 due to bickering egos and Weiland’s ongoing struggles with substance abuse. Yet the indefatigable Slash simply got back to work and has carried on making new music, releasing new albums, and touring largely under his own name.

Selected Discography: ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987), ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ (1991), ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ (1995), ‘Contraband’ (2004), ‘World on Fire’ (2014)

Related Artists: Guns n’ Roses, Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver

Further Reading: 10 Best Guns N’ Roses SongsTop 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All-Time

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